MC student organizations cope with large budget cuts
This year SGA received a budget of about $65,000 less than in previous years. Repercussions of this
budget cut impact the majority of student organizations on campus. Groups especially affected include
those with automatic allocation such as SPB, Impressions, the Highland Echo, and Intramurals along with
groups that did not submit budget proposals last spring. Organizations who did submit budget proposals
in the spring are the only ones not greatly affected and will still receive the amount granted to them by
FBOAC (Financial, Budgetary Organizational Affairs Committee). This year’s lack of funds will also affect
SGA’s ability to grant money to those who petition for extra during the school year.
Both SGA adviser, Ben Wicker and Maryville College’s President Dr. Tom Bogart agree that SGA’s budget
can be largely contributed to miscommunication.
“The understanding historically was that 50 percent of the student activity fee went to SGA and 50
percent went to the college to be devoted for various activities,” Bogart said.
However, the college determined that too much money was being allocated to SGA based upon a
formula in the SGA bylaws and chose to follow the formula this year rather than allotting the traditional
50 percent. Since the college considers budgets on a yearly basis and SGA considers them on a semester
basis, confusion arose when the revised budget was agreed upon.
SGA is already taking steps to review and revise their budgetary bylaws to ensure that this will not be a
recurring pattern in the years to come. “What we are trying to do at this point is come to an agreement on
something that is simple,” Bogart said.
For the current year, the budget will remain as is.
“The budget was passed at a certain level and that is what we are having to live with this year,” Wicker
“Of course anytime resources are fewer, that has an impact, particularly to the extent that clubs and
organizations made some plans based on some incorrect assumptions,” Bogart said, but he ensures
students that any damage suffered by student organizations was not intentional.
“With all of the money, we are looking to benefit students,”Bogart said. As for the money not received
by SGA, Bogart points out that it can have a variety of uses. A significant amount has recently gone into
updating the campus WiFi as well as supporting some of the unseen infrastructure behind clubs and
Since the budget will not be adjusted for this school year, Wicker suggests many ways for groups to
cope with fewer resources. He encourages creative fundraising, reevaluating spending and particularly
collaboration among student organizations.
President Bogart offered some tips: Know top priorities so that they can be focused on and work closely
with both faculty advisers and SGA to understand what to expect regarding budgets.
“There is tremendous untapped potential in collaboration on this campus,” Wicker said.
He encourages student organizations that are considering soliciting in the community to first discuss it
with their adviser as well as the Advancement Office in the Willard House.
Maryville College’s Student Programming Board (SPB) is one organization already seeking to employ
some of these tips. After suffering a budget cut of about 10 percent, SPB is looking for creative ways
to approach events. “We are capitalizing on the talents of the students in our organization rather than
outsourcing,” said SPB staff adviser, Rachel Hanson. They are also planning to utilize collaboration. One
great example of this is the tailgate event on Sept. 28 which involved five campus groups.
Though this year’s budget cuts are not ideal, there are a variety of new approaches student
organizations can apply. If any questions or concerns involving budgets arise, Wicker encourages students
to come visit him or speak to any number of the student development staff.